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City A to Z: O is for...?

The A-Z of City continues with the letter ‘O’ so we bring you Oakes and a lengthy Own Goals entry – sadly Agueroooooooooo! didn’t make the cut…

So here are today’s runners and riders:

Oakes, Alan

One of City’s longest-serving players, Alan Oakes served the Club with great distinction between 1958 and 1976, making a record 669 appearances.

Known as City’s Mr Dependable, Oakes was a quiet unassuming player who was somehow overlooked at all international levels for England – due in no small part to the fact that he played a similar role to the legendary Bobby Moore.

Best known for his surging runs from midfield, Oakes was happy to let others take the limelight yet was an integral member of the all-conquering Mercer side of the late 1960s and the management showed their faith in Oakes by naming him captain for the 1968–69 season.

He was also named in the original squad of 40 for the 1970 World Cup but missed out on a trip to Mexico when the final squad was named.

Consistent right up until the end of his days at Maine Road, he was named Player of the Year in 1975, just a year before he left City for Chester in 1976, where he eventually became player-manager of the club after adding another 211 appearances to his career total which by then topped a remarkable 900 games.

Own Goals

Dave Ewing holds an unenviable record that will probably never be beaten. With ten own goals during his playing career, nobody even comes close to taking away his unwanted crown.

John McTavish scored three past his own goalkeeper in just four games in November 1959  while Derek Kevan and Steve Mackenzie both scored at either end for the Blues in the same game; Kevan’s came in a 4–3 defeat at Charlton in 1964 and Mackenzie’s dubious double was at Middlesbrough in 1980, with the game ending 2–2.

One of the most famous own goals of all was also one of the most painful. Tommy Hutchison’s flying header had put City 1–0 up in the 1981 FA Cup final but he deflected a Spurs free kick past Joe Corrigan to become the only man to score at both ends in an FA Cup final – a record that still stands. Here are both goals Tommy scored that day...

The Blues’ history might have been different had Dav e Watson not bizarrely slid the ball past his own goalkeeper with two minutes to go of a crucial game against Liverpool. City had been leading 1–0 and the Merseyside Reds ended up winning the title five months later by a point over the Blues. The positions would have been reversed but for the fateful Watson error and City would have been champions for the second time in eight years.

One of the most entertaining of all the own goals ever scored came in a non-competitive match for Bert Trautmann’s testimonial. A combined City and United team took on an International XI before a crowd of more than 48,000. United’s Maurice Setters, playing in sky blue for the first and only time, received the ball and headed towards his own goal, kept by Trautmann. Setters then promptly tucked it past the German legend and ran off celebrating. His explanation was that he’d never managed to score against Trautmann before and this match represented his last opportunity. ‘I couldn’t resist it!’ he added.

More recent ‘classic own’ goals Jamie Pollock’s effort against QPR in the penultimate game of the 1997/98 season – widely regarded as one of the best in its class! City's failure to win meant the point was enough to save QPR and as a result, Pollock was voted as the 'Most Influential Man of the Past 2000 Years' in an Internet poll by Hoops fans.

Judge for yourself...

There was also Eliaquim Mangala’s effort away to Hull City last season; Richard Dunne’s 25-yarder against West Brom in 2004/05 and Peter Crouch’s crucial own goal versus Tottenham ensured City qualified for the Champions League for the first time in May 2011 - plus who could forget Vincent Kompany's spectacular effort against Fulham in 2013.

Tweet us with your suggestions for the letter 'P' @MCFC...

A is for Aguero, Argentina and Ardwick

B is for Balotelli, Ballet on Ice and Berkovic

C is for Corrigan, Cricket and Curle

D is for Doyle, Dowd and Dzeko

E for Elano, Elvis the Eagle and Eriksson

F is for Flitcroft, Floodlights and Foe

G is for Goater, Gibson, Golden Goal

H is for Hart, Horlock and Huddersfield

I for Immel, Iheanacho and Ireland

J is for Johnstone, James and Jihai

K is for Kinky, Kippax, Keegan and Kennedy

L is for Lake, Lee and Lescott

M is for...

N is for... 

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